Thursday, February 03, 2005

RIP Teddy

Ever since I was born, my parents have always had German Shepherd dogs. Always more than one, usually more like four.

I have had a couple myself, as has my brother. To me, a real dog is a German Shepherd. Any other dog is just practice. Whenever I see a German Shepherd my first instinct is to run over and pet them and bury my nose in the fur of their necks.

One of our favorite in the pantheon of Germies was Teddy. Teddy was a big boy. Big, huggy and sweet. His favorite game was to play catch. Throw the stick (walnut, squirrel, whatever was handy) and Teddy would always go after it. Rich enjoyed playing a game with Teddy, where he would psyche him out and pretend to throw the stick, then quickly hide it. Teddy would run a few steps, then realized he had been had. He'd come back to Rich, stand in front of him, splayed out on his massive German Shepherd feet, and just let out one big bark: "WOOF". The "woof" was a huge, echoing, gigantic bark that would reverberate off the surrounding hills and clatter around in your eardrums. Teddy was a big boy. Rich would tease Teddy with fake stick tosses and make him woof a few times, then finally throw the stick right around the time that the Tedster started hyperventilating with Germie eagerness over when would that damn human just throw the stick already????????

Teddy also had no idea how big he was. Another of his favorite games was to play horsie. Unfortunately, he would sneak up behind his unsuspecting partner, usually my mom, when she was bent over, say, working in the flower beds. In attempting to walk between the legs of the bent over game partner so he could be the horse, he would generally succeed in knocking them over from behind, casting the intended horsie participant forward onto their head. Teddy did this to me a few times as well, and I found myself head first in a bunch of tulips in my mom's flower garden, trying to figure out what the hell happened and why the dog head butted me in the ass. Mom then explained about "horsie". He was just playing, and did not understand that a 120 pound German Shepherd generally does not fit too well underneath an unprepared (and bent over) human.

Teddy died today. He was getting old. He was active to the last, however, and valiantly followed my parents on their walks in the woods as late as last week.

RIP Teddy. You were one of the great ones.

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